Writing Tips

My Undergraduate Reading

9:00 a.m. update: I’m in the University Daily Kansan! Read this article about my experiences here.

I REALLY wanted to record a video of me reading what I read at the Undergraduate Reading Series (that way, you could experience what the audience did) but, just as I said on the 9th, my camera isn’t working.

An actual picture from the event.
An actual picture from the event.

So what do I do?

I’m uploading PDF files of what I’ve read :] If you click any of the links below, it will open, and you can read that particular piece.

At the event I read nonfiction, poetry, and fiction. I did this, because I love experimenting in genres outside my norm (so anything that isn’t sci-fi/fantasy YA fiction.) I think trying new genres is really important for learning, and, because of this, I’ve studied nonfiction, poetry, fiction, and screenwriting at the University of Kansas (and in my free time, of course.)

But, without further my rambling (because I could), I’ll introduce my nonfiction piece:

From my memoir “To become a (woe)man” I explain how being motherless since 11 years old has effected my life up until now. I’m really excited to be sharing this piece, because it’s currently competing in a publication competition, not to mention some of the most important moments of my life. This particular scene is the day after my mother died.

Read my excerpt from “To become a (woe)man” here: NonFictionExcerpt

My poetry was read next. I’d rather not explain what they are about, however, because poetry is a genre that thrives within interpretation. My three pieces are below:




After poetry, I read from a fiction piece of mine. In reality, this fiction piece is from a fantasy novel, but, from the excerpt, you will not be able to tell. I did this on purpose. Readings don’t always give you enough time to explain the setting or the characters, so you have to adjust to your audience. I decided to read a small romantic scene–one where my protagonists are looking at the stars. Read it here: FictionExcerpt

I hope you enjoyed reading my pieces as much as I enjoyed sharing them!

Have a great Monday!


21 thoughts on “My Undergraduate Reading

  1. Yes, I totally agree with you about reading genres outside of your norm. Having read a large amount of literary fiction in 2012 — as well as the fantasy, science fiction, and crime novels — has enabled me to start writing a speculative novel, which is much more literary than my usual style, although it’s still science fiction.

  2. Very interesting to read about you and your literary endeavors. I admire your spirit and determination, your skills and your inspirations. Keep going!

  3. Great idea that not many people take advantage of. I took screen writing to work on dialogue, since drama doesn’t allow for Exposition or Thought, the two least dramatic of the five elemtents of writing. It made me focus on Dialogue, Action, and Description. Loved it. Took some poetry too…but that was a disaster. Must get a grasp on my limits. You seem to have few, if any. Good for you. Cheers !

  4. Shannon, did you receive a warm response from the audience? Perhaps that’s a silly question because have no doubt you did. If I could be moved by your pieces by reading them, I’m sure the power of your voice behind the words melted them down in a good way.

  5. ‘As my injuries reflect my body, they reflect nothing inside.’ ~ (Injuries, S. A. Thompson) 🙂


    I loved your pieces. It really sounds like you had a blast over there. 🙂

    ~ A. H. Amin

  6. Shannon – When I was reading your Non-Fiction excerpt and got to the top of the second page where you were wondering what you were too young for, I couldn’t help myself. I thought, “She wasn’t too young for her mother to die.”

  7. My mother died when I was around the same age. It’s strange how all the little things are so memorable. I think I’d say that I was too young before she died, but that was the moment I grew up. When something like that happens you just have to be mature and face it. Well-written piece 🙂

  8. Your nonfiction piece was filled with imagery. I could truly experience all that was going on through the eyes of your child self.

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